Monday, May 17

China Calls on the United States to Remove Trump-Era Sanctions, Warns Against “Harassment” | World News

China’s top diplomat has called on the United States to lift the sanctions and restrictions introduced by Donald Trump and warned against international “hegemony and harassment” and interference in what Beijing considers internal affairs, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and the South China Sea.

On the third day of China’s annual National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi noted that Beijing intended to stand firm against growing international criticism of its expansionist and hostile activity and abuses. internal human rights.

At a press conference on Sunday, in which he answered only previously vetted questions from selected journalists, Wang said that “sincere communication” with the US was necessary to avoid “strategic mistakes and conflicts,” and that cooperation in Issues such as Covid- The pandemic, economic recovery and climate change should be the main bilateral objective.

“We hope that the United States will move in the same direction and remove all its unreasonable restrictions on bilateral cooperation as soon as possible, do not create new obstacles,” he said, in an apparent reference to sanctions and legislated restrictions on Chinese trade and diplomacy. . and media presented by Donald Trump and that Joe Biden has said It will be reviewed.

Wang also accused the United States and other Western countries of using “the concept of freedom of navigation” to cause instability in the South China Sea and undermine peace in the region.

A Chinese frigate launches a missile during a 2016 military exercise in the South China Sea

A Chinese frigate launches a missile during a 2016 military exercise in the South China Sea. Photograph: Zha Chunming / AP

Biden has said that the “growing rivalry” with Beijing is a key challenge for the United States. National security analyzes have repeatedly identified China and Russia as the top countries of concern, with current Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling China the “biggest geopolitical test” of this century.

In response to a question about whether there was room for China to make concessions on a list of geopolitical and human rights concerns raised by the United States and its allies, Wang said Beijing was willing to communicate with all parties, but “will not accept accusations. unfounded “. or defamation ”.

“The issues he is referring to are mainly internal affairs and the Chinese people … are the best able to decide what China should do,” he said.

Wang later said that he expected Biden to show a “clear deviation from the previous administration’s actions of crossing the line and playing with fire” when it comes to Taiwan.

“The two sides of the Taiwan Strait must and surely will meet … and this reflects the will of the entire Chinese nation,” he said. “We have the ability to thwart the separatist elements of Taiwan in any way … There is no room for compromises or concessions by the Chinese government.”

Beijing views Taiwan as part of China and has promised to unite the regions, by force if necessary, offering Taiwan an existence under the “one country and two systems” principle that Hong Kong has ruled. Taiwan’s leadership and a growing majority of its citizens reject the idea that it is part of China and have grown increasingly cautious after observing the repression of the opposition in Hong Kong.

A draft decision was formally submitted to the NPC on Friday, seen as an approval body for Communist Party legislation, which would ensure that only those loyal to the party could rule Hong Kong. The decision includes a proposed vetting process for political candidates and, combined with the national security law, has been labeled the end of the opposition in the city.

Wang said on Sunday that the “measure to improve” Hong Kong’s electoral system and ensure that only “patriots” could rule was necessary to promote the “one country, two systems” principle and restore stability. He said it was “totally lawful, constitutional and justified.”

“Loyalty to the homeland is a fundamental ethic … and a requirement anywhere in the world,” said Wang. “How can we expect someone who doesn’t love their homeland to truly love Hong Kong?”

Wang also praised China’s growing alliance with Russia, saying the two countries had stood shoulder to shoulder in the fight against the coronavirus and the “political virus.” He said it was imperative in the current circumstances “that Beijing and Moscow should be each other’s strategic support and global partner, and promised that the two governments will firmly support each other to defend national interests and oppose the” color revolutions.

In his opening speech, Wang praised China’s diplomacy during 2020, highlighting its response to the pandemic and work to supply 43 countries with vaccines developed in China, and its role in defending “peace, development, democracy. and freedom as common values ​​of humanity “. .

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